I've been thinking about the sun...
There’s a haunting scene in Sunshine, one of my favorite movies. (I’m about to give a huge spoiler, so skip this paragraph if you’d like.) In the film, our sun is dying, leaving the planet in a perpetual winter, so a group of astronauts set off on a daring mission to reignite the dying star. As they near the sun, awed by its ever increasing strength and size, an accident occurs that requires the captain to sacrifice his life in order to make a repair from the outside of the ship. In his last moments, he turns and stares straight at the sun, losing himself in the wonder of its savage brilliance.
This scene has alway stuck with me. I’ve just never thought of someone loving the sun.
But why shouldn’t we?
The sun is the reason we all are here. It’s the reason. It gives us light and warms our planet, but it also feeds the plants that in turn feed us. The sunlight nourishes trees that then deliver oxygen to our hungry lungs. Its the source of our very breath. We live because the sun lives.
It’s small in our sky, so we often forget our monstrous it is. A million times larger than our earth. It’s so big that if it took one step closer to earth, it’d swallow us whole in its ravenous flames. But it doesn’t take a step closer. It stays exactly the distance it needs to in order to keep our temperature at an average of about 60 degrees. The perfect temperature, wouldn’t you agree?
So, of course, it makes me think of Jesus. In him we live and move and have our being. He holds the atoms together. Just like we need the sun for the air we breath and the atmosphere we inhabit, so we depend on Jesus for life.
And he’s always there, in actuality so powerful and cosmic, but stepping back to just the right distance so we don’t melt in his glorious presence. But that distance is precisely what shrinks his importance in our brains. It’s what makes us take him for granted, assume he’ll always keep us alive. We look at him from afar, complain about his heat every once in awhile, shield our eyes if he ever gets too close, and never stop to think, much less thank, him for our daily survival. Our air. Our breath. Our unseared skin.
Glorious One. Glorious One.
Light of the world.
You outshine the sun.
I think of the captain in the movie, not content to stay on earth and see the sun from afar, but traveling those thousands of miles toward the sun, just to get closer. He understood its beauty and its importance. Even at his death, he took delight in the very sight of it.
Jesus is bigger, better, brighter than our sun. He’s worth more, means more, does more than our sun. And we need him even more than we need our sun.
On the new earth, the reality of things will be more clear ::
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.